Habitat for Humanity installs solar water heaters in Clearwater homes

04/23/12 Olivia Kabat
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

Some homes that are being built in Clearwater for Habitat for Humanity will be getting solar hot water systems. The installations are provided for families in need.

The solar contractor, Solar Source, is installing 15 solar hot water systems to Habitat for Humanity in Pinellas County. Jeremiah Rohr, lead instructor for Solar Source says the installations are an energy-efficient way to reduce 85% of water heating costs.

“Basically Habitat for Humanity was looking for a way to reduce…well they’re big on energy efficiency in their homes which allows a lower monthly cost for the residents after they move in. A lot of the stuff is being donated by other people who are being subsidized in some way. So on there monthly bills through different installation and building techniques and these hot water heaters. They have a much smaller utility bill.”

Technicians from Solar Source are in charge of the installation process. Rohr says more solar installations are set for the future.

“For these people, they’re being picked up by a grant from the utility company. So the utility company is actually paying for that. Normally, a system like this is about $4,000.”

Habitat for Humanity is one of the ten largest home builders in the nation. Many of those homes utilize solar power to save money and energy.

“Hot water heating on a general home is 20-40% of your utility bill. So if we can provide solar hot water for these families, then we’ve taken 20-40% of their utility usage off of their monthly bills. So they also like the “green” component of that but the real point is the economic value that it brings to the residents that are moving into the homes. And we’re using the sunshine to heat instead of fossil fuels.”

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County

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